Tag: Variety

Banking, once taken as a tiresome task by a lot of users, has had more than a few ground-breaking changes in last few years. One of the most celebrated changes has been the capability of banking consumers to check account details online rather than holding back in long lines or looking on hold for info from a telephone customer service. Online banks keep on to broaden the range of services offered to consumers and to attract some of them by making available user-friendly facilities to get to banking information any time and in shot time.

One of the most excellent aspects of online banking is that now consumer does not need to get info about bank statements and transaction informations. By using facilities offered by the banks, users can easily check account details using a net-banking or smartphone app from any location. With a small number of steps, account balances and further information, for example interest rates or Annual Yields, show on the computer screen and can be printed out easily if required. Since account informations usually available within a short time, remain up-to-date, and the possibility of accounting errors is very much reduced. In addition, users have more than one accounts at the same online bank have the capability send money online between their accounts with not any need to prepare printed cheque.

A lot of banks offer facilities for example viable interest rates on PLS accounts, free availability of online account informations and free online payment of bills, to enhance capacity of account holders for coming into being. The quality added services carry on to create more possibilities for online banking to offer ground-breaking services to users. Majority of banks make available online loan applications to fill out for a variety of loans with loan calculators and the loan is credited to your account after a few online application submission. However, banks may also call you to visit for further informations. Other than the loan services offered by banks, PLS and saving accounts for example Certificates of Deposits (CDs) are generally offered at a more interest rate than usual banking institutes. By browsing the Internet to evaluate the services of a variety of banks, you can make a decision about which institution can suit your banking requirements easily and fast.

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If you are like most workers in South Carolina, you probably have procrastinated saving for retirement. Now that you have put your retirement planning on the front burner, you realize that you’ll have to aggressively ramp up your savings rate. You wonder if you can make up for lost time by being more aggressive with your investments. Unfortunately, that may not help you as much as you thought. Retirement planning is all about math, and to help illustrate the math equation, I like to use the metaphor of a garden to explain the lifecycle of retirement savings and distributions. Here are four basic questions that will help you assess your ability to retire. Reflecting on each of these questions will enable you to better understand where you need assistance and also what you are doing well.

Questions One: The Retirement Garden- How Big is Your Plot?

The amount of income you make during your career is your “human capital.” You potential capital is greatest when you are just entering the work force. Whether you work for decades with a low to modest income or you retire early and get a golden parachute worth multiple millions, think of that total income (years worked x income per year) as the land you have available to plant the seeds of your retirement savings. One way to maximize your land is to retire later or invest in your career development. It is also imperative that you protect your “land” with proper insurance such as life and disability.

Questions Two: Planting Seeds for Future Growth- What is Your Savings Rate?

It is how you cultivate your land that counts. In order to have an abundant garden, you need to plant a lot of seeds and seedlings. For example, you may have a high income for many years, but if you are not systematically saving a portion of your income (at least 10%, if not 15%) your land will not bear enough fruit in the future. Your land will be barren. Even investors with modest plots (income) who have diligently sowed the seeds of savings over the years may have more plentiful income in retirement than their profligate neighbors. This is why most financial planners recommend starting early and putting retirement savings on autopilot. To sow more seeds for retirement savings, increase your savings rate into your 401K or other retirement plan and cut back on spending to save additional amounts outside your retirement plan, if you are already at the maximum limit.

Question Three: Weeding, Feeding, and Pruning for Optimal Growth- Do You Have a Sound Investment Plan?

A well thought out investment strategy helps you maximize the growth of your “retirement garden,” but most of the heavy lifting needs to be done by acquiring land (income) as well as planting seeds and seedlings (consistent and/or significant savings). Many people think of their investments like fertilizer, and rationalize that if they increase the aggressiveness of their portfolio, they can make up for lost time. But you can’t rely solely on fertilizer for the output of your garden. Just like fertilizer, too much of a good thing, (say holding a concentrated position of one stock, maintaining too high an exposure to equities, or skewing your portfolio to highly volatile sectors like emerging markets) could undermine your progress, especially if you have limited time left to build up your retirement silo.

Proper asset allocation among low-cost, diversified asset classes such as domestic and international stocks, real estate, commodities, and high quality bonds can provide adequate growth while helping to mitigate potential losses. Just like we plant various crops to hedge our bets, we invest in various asset classes to create an all-weather portfolio. Planting a variety of crops will protect us from a variety of risks and ensure some of our harvest survives no matter what Mother Nature (or the markets) throw at us. Ideally, some investments will perform well when others underperform, and vice versa. The overall performance will be unpredictable and change as often as the weather. Consistently pruning your portfolio through periodic re-balancing of these asset classes, possibly as infrequently as once a year, will help maximize the long run return or yield of your garden.

Questions Four: Providing For Your Future Harvest- Should You Consult an Experienced Gardener?

Retirement planning and investment management need not be (complex or expensive). It is all about how investors behave within the retirement planning cycle. In order to help motivate and guide your master plan for retirement, you may want to consider seeking out the expertise of a fee-only CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER Professional. He or she will help you determine how much you need to save based on your unique goals and design a low cost investment portfolio to help build and maintain wealth as well as minimize drawdown during your distribution phase. Probably the most important benefit of a professional advisor is that he or she will keep your invested through thick and thin instead of bailing when times get tough. Some investors try to time the market by buying into the market during upswings and selling during declines. This could reduce the overall yield of their crop, just like harvesting a crop before its peak might. Instead, you will need to plant often and consistently (through dollar cost averaging).

I hope that the retirement garden serves as an inspiration for you to focus on maximizing the abundance of your retirement garden. By planting, harvesting, and consuming the fruits of your labor in a prudent manner, you will reap the rewards in the form of a satisfying retirement lifestyle.

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